Save it in your phone and thank me later: I may have just found the answer to the question “What is your favorite restaurant in Santa Monica?” That’s because The Curious Palate has a dish for every meal, any day of the week.
And it doesn’t stop at the food. Tucked in the back of The Market on the third floor of Santa Monica Place, The Curious Palate is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and boasts easy access and ample parking.
And those are just the logistics.
The little brother to the original location in Mar Vista, The Curious Palate is owned and run by Elliot Rubin and Mark Cannon with chef Tim Morill at the kitchen’s helm.
Like the menu, the trio came together from all trades of the world to create a calendar of events and spectrum of food that will inevitably turn first-time customers into weekly visitors.
The collaboration between Rubin, an engineer by trade; Cannon, a television producer; and Morill, a North Carolina guy at heart with a tongue to satisfy and delight the most down-home desires to the greatest super-tasters, means that there is a lot going on at TCP.
Last week I went to the first Tasting Dinner of 2012, and despite being absolutely full, I’ll admit that it felt more like an amuse-bouche than a dinner because when I left, all I wanted was more.
Luckily, there are three meals a day, and frankly there is no dish to not have here. Like everything at TCP, there is nothing you won’t recognize – but get ready; it’s all better than you can imagine. For example:
Breakfast: French Toast (bourbon battered brioche, brown butter, golden raisin and pistachio syrup, and crème Chantilly), Sausage Omelette (linquica, roasted red peppers, basil, and smoked gouda).
Lunch: Miso Short Rib Wrap (beef short rib, cabbage, red onion, Japanese pickles, miso dressing, in a flour tortilla), Frisee sux Lardon Salad (frisee salad, crispy pork belly, sous-vide duck egg, brioche crouton, and whole grain mustard vinaigrette).
Dinner: Shrimp ‘n’ Grits (white hominy, red eye gravy, and sous-vide farm egg), Foraged Mushroom Pizza (goat cheese, caramelized onion, pine nuts, and white truffle oil), Beef Cheek Tacos (braised in espresso and peanut mole).
Dessert: Chocolate Pate (salted caramel, white chocolate cherry ice cream, and cocoa crumbs), Curious Sundae (espresso cocoa butter ice cream, salted caramel, and candied pistachios).
Wine/Beer List: Hand selected to nicely date anything you might eat, just ask and you will get a customized recommendation to match your food. With Tempranillo from Vega Murillo, Viognier from Summerland Paradise Road, White Ale from Telegraph Brewing Co., and Allagash Curieux from Allagash Brewing that you know you’ll be drinking even after you’ve finished eating.
I know, I know, it all sounds too great to be true – but when you go and find yourself seated next to regulars (not monthly or weekly, but daily) and throughout the night hear women (yes, there were several) proposing in a purring call “Marry Me!” to chef Tim in between moaning bites – you’ll become a believer of the love, good taste, and promise for curiously better (yet absolutely simple) ways to do the world’s favorite foods.
In addition to being open for breakfast through dinner, TCP offers fun twists to the concept of Happy Hour that you’ve gotten used to everywhere else.
Nightly Happy Hour (3-7 p.m.)
Thursday Pizza & Pitchers (30 percent off pitchers of beer)
Tasting Dinner: Pre-fix for 5+ courses paired with beer or wine (next is Spanish Tapas+Wine on Jan. 25)
The Curious Palate
395 Santa Monica Place, Level Three